Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Pastor's Corner
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
March 25, 2020

“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. … Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

With these words, Archangel Gabriel greets the young woman of Nazareth we affectionately refer to as Our Blessed Mother. A most puzzling greeting, even today, but unprecedented. In fact, Luke had to invent a new word in Greek for this greeting “full of grace.” Grace is of course unearned and is the action of God within a person’s life. This singular privilege of her freedom from sin was in preparation for her maternal role in the Incarnation of the eternal Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son.

Gabriel continues to speak of her conceiving by the Holy Spirit a son whom she was to name Jesus. The one who would save God’s people from sin. It certainly made very little sense to her. Her human volition, free will, was not constrained, she could have said no. St. Bernard of Clairvaux has a line in a homily about the Annunciation that I love, “do not be coy, simple virgin, please say yes!” Her knowledge of the God of Israel and His grace enabled her bold, “Let it be done unto me according to your Word.”

As we face so many emotions and concrete challenges in this worst pandemic since 1918, let us realize that we too are graced, redeemed and beloved children of a loving God. Reach out to friends and acquaintances by mail, text, phone and so on. Don’t let your being solitary and alone degenerate into loneliness. There is a difference! The Lord is always with us. I also believe our beloved dead and the saints and angels, especially our Guardian Angels, are too!

Admittedly, I have never been very good at seeing God’s Will when it is something I would not have chosen otherwise. Great saints are much better at this than I. St. Leonard Murialdo taught that if it is happening to us, it is God’s will, therefore it is good for us! My favorite priest opponent to the Nazis, Blessed Rupert Mayer, SJ, had a favorite prayer that I have started to say regularly. Before I say it, I ask, “God, help me really mean this!” (It pops up on a simple search for “favorite prayer of Rupert Mayer.”) One line reads, “Herr, weil Du’s willst, drum ist es gut,” “Lord, because you will it, it is good.”

“We are in God’s hands; we are in good hands (St. Leonard)!” Courage! ¡Ánimo! Let us pray for one another and for the whole world.

Our Lady’s Chapel, when not unlocked, is always accessible through the single door on the church side of the chapel. Parishioners can email or call the office for the lock combo. There is a good security camera system in there for your protection but be prudent late at night.

The main office is NOT open the the public however it is staffed Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm. Please if at all possible, continue to send your financial assistance in—US Mail, or call with a credit card to donate through the Square. We, like you, continue to get bills. Thanks so much!

Feast of St. Joseph
March 19, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“God never says, ‘"Get over it!’" regarding our fears. He says, ‘"Give it to me!’”" This sage quip was sent to me this morning by a dear friend. Certainly St. Joseph had to surrender his fears to God when he took the expecting Virgin Mary into his home and when he got up in the middle of the night to flee to Egypt with her and the baby Jesus. For this faith and trust he is one of the few men in Scripture labeled “just” and “righteous”.

Read More..

Archbishop Gomez Call On California Catholics To Support Extending Unemployment Benefits for Church Workers

Archbishop José H. Gomez is asking California Catholics to support extending unemployment benefits to Church workers under federal emergency legislation addressing dislocations caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Currently, non-profit employees in multiple states do not have access to state unemployment insurance. Faith communities are urging Congress to provide emergency disaster unemployment assistance to workers that are not covered by state unemployment insurance.

“As we know, the impact of the coronavirus emergency is being felt profoundly in our Catholic community. Nationwide, the Church has been forced to suspend worship services and close schools and other important offices and ministries, effecting tens of thousands of our employees,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Please join me in asking Congress to extend unemployment benefits to Church workers who might need this relief. Let us stand together in solidarity for our brothers and sisters in this time of trial and need.”

California Catholics are asked to contact Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, as well as local representatives, to make sure they are aware of this problem of non-profit employees in multiple states who do not currently have access to state unemployment insurance, and to ask that they support an effective solution.

For more information & assistance in contacting state senators and local representatives, please click here.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced this afternoon the suspension of Masses amid the current health threat due to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

“I deeply regret that we are forced to temporarily suspend public celebration of the Mass in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez. “What we do in the Church, we do out of love for God and love for our brothers and sisters. We are taking this extraordinary step today out of love and concern for those in our families and communities who are most vulnerable to this deadly coronavirus.”

Archbishop Gomez stressed that the decision was “not made lightly,” and that it was made after “much prayer and reflection” and in consultation with the Archdiocese’s auxiliary bishops, Council of Priests, lay advisors, and government and public health officials.

“I ask your continued prayers for all those who are afflicted with this virus and those who are afraid and vulnerable. I also ask you to pray and reach out to help the many families who are facing difficulties as a result of this emergency. We also need to keep in our prayers all the doctors, nurses, caregivers, and public health and civil authorities working to contain the outbreak of this virus and treat those who are sick,” stated the Archbishop.

Catholics are encouraged to continue to pray at home with their families and join to the sacrifice of the Mass by making an act of spiritual communion. They are also encouraged to participate in the Holy Mass via the Internet. The Archdiocese will provide a livestream of non-public Masses from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels daily and on Sunday via Facebook, @lacatholics,
(facebook.com/lacatholics) or visit
 lacatholics.org/emergency. The daily Mass (M-F) in English at 12:10 p.m. and the Sunday Masses in English at 10 a.m. and in Spanish at 12:30 p.m. will be livestreamed.

Sub Tuum Praesidium: “We turn to you for protection, Holy Mother of God. Listen to our prayers and help us in our needs. Save us from every danger, glorious and blessed Virgin.”

The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel: “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

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St. Serra now has Mass live on Facebook!

ALL Public Masses have been SUSPENDED until further notice.

St. Junipero Serra Parish will be live on Facebook for the following Masses:

9:30 AM - English on Sunday
11:00 AM - Spanish on Sunday

8:00 AM - English during the week.

You can "tune-in" here: https://www.facebook.com/SJSPLancaster/

Although Our Lady’s Chapel continues to be open until further notice—there should never be more than ten there at a time.

Remember the fact that we can make Spiritual Communions when the sacrament is not available. Use these or your own words: “Lord, I am not able to receive you now sacramentally. Enter into my heart. I embrace you as already there and unite myself to you. Never let me be separated from you.”

Weddings and Funerals will be limited drastically in attendance.

Baptisms are postponed.

Stations of the Cross and the Easter Food Blessing are also cancelled.

Confessions are now cancelled until further notice.

Remember that when the sacrament of penance is not available, one should present one’s sorrow directly to God and say a good Act of Contrition. Sins, including mortal ones, are forgiven. When opportunity arises, mention the latter in your next confession just to keep yourself honest. A very simple Act of Contrition that is found in the Rite of Penance is: “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”


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